Biological Sciences Faculty Publications


Light-Dependent Tyrosine Phosphorylation in the Cyanobacterium Prochlorothrix Hollandica

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A light-dependent tyrosine kinase activity is present in soluble extracts from the cyanobacterium Prochlorothrix hollandica. The substrate of this tyrosine kinase activity is a soluble 88-kD protein that is phosphorylated when cultures of P. hollandica are adapted to high-light conditions. This phosphoprotein was identified by probing western blots of 32P-labeled soluble proteins from P. hollandica with an antibody specific for phosphotyrosine. This specificity was confirmed by competition experiments in which the antibody binding was abolished completely in the presence of excess phosphotyrosine but not phosphoserine and phosphothreonine. The kinetics of phosphorylation in vivo were determined by probing western blots with this antibody. Within 1 h following a switch from extended darkness to high light (200 [mu]mol photons m-2 s-1), the 88-kD protein was detectable upon India ink staining of western blots. After 3 h, the antibody recognized the phosphorylated form of this polypeptide. Within 6 h of a downshift from high to low light, the 88-kD protein was dephosphorylated. In vitro phosphorylation studies also showed that cell extracts can phosphorylate a tyrosine-containing artificial substrate; acid hydrolysis of both the artificial substrate and the 88-kD protein showed that phosphorylation occurred exclusively on tyrosine residues. Finally, experiments with high-light-adapted Synechococcus sp. PCC7942 suggest that a similar tyrosine phosphorylation event occurs in a phycobilisome-containing cyanobacterium.

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Plant Physiology

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